Wilderness Survival Tactics
The tactics that you use to survive in the wilderness will differ depending on a variety of factors like the time of year and the equipment that you have. No matter what, there are certain basic steps that you will need to follow to survive in the wild. If you find yourself stranded in the wilderness, focus on the following tasks:
• Find a Good Campsite
The ideal location is one on higher ground, meaning at the top of a hill or a ridge. This keeps you out of spots where water may come toward you in a flash flood. In addition, the perfect campsite is one that is close to plentiful sources of dry wood and clean water. When you find the right site, clear it of anything that might catch fire like twigs or dry leaves. Inspect the area carefully for signs of insects and reptiles that could be harmful. Also, look overhead for branches that can fall on you.
• Create a Fire
Fire can help you to cook food, stay warm and have light. Also keeps predators away. You can start fires in many ways. If you happen to be without a lighter, your options include ancient fire-starting tools like the fire plow. With the fire plow, you will be using two pieces of wood to create an ember. Start by gathering tinder for your ember. Creating a good bed of tinder is the most important part of this process. Next, cut a groove down the length of a long piece of softwood. Rub another piece of wood down the groove at a 45-degree angle. Keep rubbing until the temperature increases and you start to see sparks. Transfer the ember to your tinder bed.
• Build a Shelter
Without a shelter, it is impossible to survive wintery conditions for very long. If you have a tent, then you have no worries; however, you will need to use whatever the landscape around you provides if you are without one. One option is to make a lean-to by setting a branch against a tree and stacking smaller branches together on one side of it. You can then layer leaves and moss on this wall. While this will protect you from the cold air, it will not protect you from the ground. The ground will draw away your body heat so it is important to use more leaves and debris to cover your sleeping area.
• Find Clean Water
Three days is how long you can live without water, which means that finding reliable sources of potable water should be right near the top of your priority list. Rain snow and dew are good sources of clean water, but may not be available. Other sources include puddles and streams, but these may not be as safe. Your best bet for rendering this water safe to drink is to boil it. Boiling is not always an option so it is good to include water purification tablets among your ultimate survival gear. Some vines and cacti can also provide water if you take the time to squeeze it out of them.
• Identify Edible Plants
Plants are an excellent nutritional resource for someone stranded in the wilderness. They are loaded with vitamins and minerals and some require very little preparation. The key will be identifying the right ones as there are many that can make you sick or kill you. Look for the characteristics of poisonous plants like spines, thorns or a bitter taste. Note that there are many edible plants with these characteristics; these are just guidelines to follow if you cannot make a positive identification. Learn to spot amaranth, asparagus and chicory. These common edible plants grow wild in North America.
• Weather Forecasting
Being able to predict bad weather before it occurs is one of the most overlooked survival skills. It is absolutely essential if you have no shelter. When you are outdoors, the weather plays a major role in your ability to survive. While forecasting the weather is a complex skill that we cannot cover here, understanding a few basics can help to keep you safe. Watch the clouds. When clouds are darker and lower, this suggests that rain is more likely. Clouds also travel from high-pressure areas to low-pressure areas, so their movement can often help with weather prediction. Pay attention to insects as they often disappear when rain is coming.
Other food sources
There are lots of animals in the forest like birds, frogs, and squirrels that you can catch to eat for a source of protein. After you catch something like a squirrel, you will have to learn how to clean a squirrel the proper way. If it is done right, then cooking will be easy and you will have a nice meal.
Of course, it is impossible to prepare for every single scenario; however, it is good to find out about as many of them as you can. This is information that may come in useful when you need it most.